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The relationship between coping, self-esteem and health on outdoor walking ability among older adults in Norway


Walking is an essential component of outdoor mobility, and recognised as one of the best forms of physical activity for older adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between socio-demographic factors, coping resources, self-esteem and health status with the outdoor walking ability of people aged 55–79 years living in the community. The hypothesis is that there is a positive association between outdoor walking ability and coping, self-esteem and health status. A nationally-representative sample of 3,069 women and men answered questions regarding socio-demographic attributes, coping resources, self-esteem, health status and outdoor walking ability. The mean age of the respondents was 65.6 years. Around one-half of the sample were women, and around one-half were aged 65 or more years. One-third (32.3%) of the sample were married or cohabiting. Regarding outdoor walking ability, only 0.7 per cent of the respondents were not able to walk at all, and 80.8 per cent could walk at least one kilometre without a pause. Binary logistic multivariate regression analyses showed that those who had good outdoor walking ability (one kilometre or more) were significantly younger than those who did not, and that they were predominantly men, partnered or married, not in paid work, experienced significantly little pain, had better self-reported health and higher perceived coping.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Astrid Bergland, Section of Physiotherapy, Oslo University College, Box 4, 0130, St Olavs Plass, Oslo 0130, Norway E-mail:
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Ageing & Society
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